Beginner Mechanic's Guide: Replacing The Transmission Fluid On A Car

Automotive Blog

Warm spring days are a nice time to inspect your car and see how well it held up over the winter. One item you should check is the transmission fluid. A transmission can get a lot of use during the winter with car tires spinning and gears rapidly shifting. If the transmission fluid is starting to look brown or has little pieces of metal in it, then it's time to replace the transmission fluid and filter. Here is how a beginner mechanic can change the transmission fluid.

Lift up Car

You need to get under the car to reach the transmission pan, but first, you have to lift the car up and set it on jack stands. Park the car on an even surface. Use your normal jack to lift the car up far enough that you can slide under it and easily reach the transmission pan screwed to the bottom of the transmission. Place a couple of jack stands by the front wheels and lower the front of the car onto them. This will safely hold up the car while you work on it.

Drain Transmission

There is a plug on the bottom of the transmission pan. Place a catch basin for car oil underneath the plug. Reach under the car and remove the plug. Remove the jack stands and lower the car to help the fluid run out of the transmission. You should also remove the cap where you pour transmission fluid into the car in the engine compartment. This will relieve the pressure in the system and help the fluid drain out faster.

Replace Transmission Filter

Jack up and set the car back on jack stands once the transmission fluid has been removed. Unscrew the bolts holding the pan to the bottom of the transmission. Be careful in handling the pan since fluid could still be in it, and you don't want to pour it on your face or clothes. You will see the filter as soon as you remove the pan. Some filters have screws you have to take out before you can remove it, but others just slide right out of position. Remove the filter. Screw or slide the new filter into place.

You should check the condition of the gasket for the transmission filter. If it is cracked or if you damaged it as you took off the pan, make sure you get a new one to replace an old or damaged one before you screw the pan back onto the bottom of the transmission. Make sure you have closed the drain valve on the bottom of the pan. Remove the jack stands and lower the car to the ground.

Pour in New Fluid

The amount of the fluid you need for a transmission varies on the size of the transmission. Check your service manual, or with personnel an auto supply store, to find out how much fluid you need for your transmission. Pour in the required amount of transmission fluid.

If your transmission is still having problems after you've changed the fluid, take it in to a mechanic for professional transmission repair.


28 April 2016

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